Just Energy– a competitive retail natural gas and electricity provider that serves about 1.8 million residential and commercial customers in North America – announced on February 3 that it had partnered with Skydrop to offer a digital, self-regulating smart home irrigation system with real-time weather monitoring.
According to American Fork, Utah-based Skydrop, the Smart Irrigation Controller (SIC) enables property owners to “determine the optimal watering times to keep [their lawns] at their best, while saving 35 percent on water use.” The smart irrigation system connects through a home’s Wi-Fi platform to monitor local weather stations every hour for real-time meteorological data.
The system anticipates watering needs, based on the neighborhood-specific weather data, as well as on-site lawn conditions, and can be programmed to adhere to local watering restrictions.
That’s an advantage over several other available systems, the partners said, because the competitive platforms are not connected to Wi-Fi at all and simply use historical weather patterns to arrive at the watering schedule. What’s more, other Wi-Fi controllers only connect every 6-12 hours to national weather sites for their updates.
With the SIC, property owners control their sprinkler system remotely via a wireless network. Watering times can be scheduled using a smart phone app.
“As a company, we work to offer innovative products to our customers that strike a balance between environmental preservation and cost efficiency,” says Just Energy Co-CEO Deb Merril.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, intelligent irrigation controls can save an average home nearly 8,800 gallons of water annually. Collectively, smart sprinkler systems have the potential to save 120 billion gallons of water a year, enough to supply the water needs of 1.3 million homes, and save $435 million in water costs. Skydrop smart controllers have been granted the EPA’s WaterSense Certification, which guarantees a minimum 20 percent water usage reduction.